Doctor of Philosophy in Learning and Technology
First Committee Member
Randy Boone, Co-Chair
Second Committee Member
P.G. Schrader, Co-Chair
Third Committee Member
S. Kathleen Krach
Graduate Faculty Representative
Number of Pages
For several decades, researchers have explored the existence of the virtual self, or digital embodiment of self found within an avatar. It was surmised that this new component of one’s overall identity not only existed in conjunction with the public and private persona, but was replete with the necessary physical and psychological characteristics that facilitate a broad range of cognitive, cultural, and socio-emotional outcomes found within a virtual environment (e.g., Second Life, World of Warcraft). However, little is known with regard to whether these characteristics do indeed impact behavioral outcomes. For this reason, this study employed an observational assessment method to explore the virtual self as more than a set of characteristics attributed to an avatar, but rather as a relationship between personality (i.e., individual and avatar) and actualized behavior exhibited within a virtual environment. Further, presence measures were introduced to better understand whether feelings of immersion impact this relationship. Results indicated a burgeoning virtual self, linking personality with behavior along the domain of agreeableness. In other words, behavior is not solely the product of the environment but also is influenced by participant predispositions. Findings also suggest that the construct presence may now need to incorporate variables that account for this virtual self. Implications for educators, instructional designers, and psychologists are discussed.
Avatar; Avatars (Virtual reality) – Psychological aspects; Identity (Psychology); MMOG; Persona (Psychoanalysis); Presence; Virtual environments; Virtual reality – Psychological aspects; Virtual self
Instructional Media Design | Personality and Social Contexts | Psychology
McCreery, Michael Patrick, "Personality, presence, and the virtual self: A five-factor model approach to behavioral analysis within a virtual environment" (2011). UNLV Theses, Dissertations, Professional Papers, and Capstones. 1043.